Mary Leng is both a mathematician and a philosopher. A combined degree at Balliol has given her an abiding interest in the interplay, overlap and occasional clashes between these two disciplines.
Mathematics and physics have a long association with deep, philosophical questions , and the neuroscience programme is a perfect fit for those who want to get their teeth into what philosophers call the hard problem – the problem of the brain and consciousness and all the issues that go with it
Dr Mary Leng
She studied and taught at universities in North America – Toronto and California – before becoming a research fellow at Cambridge and then a lecturer, first at Liverpool and now at York.
Like Socrates, she sees the role of the philosopher as that of the intellectual gadfly, asking the difficult questions and challenging the norm. The Natural Sciences are the ideal home for philosophers.
She thinks that strong candidates for the triple crown of Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy, would be those who have a good grounding in Mathematics, but who also have a more reflective and questioning attitude as to why mathematics seems to provide such elegant explanations for events in the real world.
Mary leads the 3-year BSc and 4-year MSci Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy programme and is Chair of Board of Studies for Philosophy